Home Access Policy
What is Home Access?
Wag! recognizes that, in addition to the safety and security of dogs on the Wag! platform, Pet Parents are entrusting Pet Care Providers with access to their homes. It’s important that Pet Parents share information with Pet Care Providers that’s necessary to access the home safely and securely.
The Wag! app is designed to allow Pet Parents to leave instructions so that Pet Care Providers can gain home access and care for the pup during a booked service. To ensure the safety and security of Wag!’s users, Pet Care Providers should not enter lockbox codes or access codes in the “Walker Notes” feature of the app. Pet Care Providers who leave this information within the app will be subject to deactivation and will lose access to their user account.
Pet Parent Expectations
Pet Parents are expected to provide detailed home access information for Pet Care Providers in the “My Profile” section of the app. They’re also expected to provide information pertaining to any necessary supplies for the service (e.g., collar, leash, food) within the “How to Get In” screen and leave those supplies in plain view within their home.
- If the Pet Care Provider is unable to find the key to the Pet Parent's home or the door is locked, the Pet Care Provider should contact the Pet Parent. If the Pet Parent is unavailable, the Pet Care Provider should contact Wag! customer service.
- If a Pet Parent fails to provide complete and accurate instructions for accessing their home and a Pet Care Provider cannot complete the walk as a result, the Pet Parent will be held responsible for paying the Pet Care Provider's $5 cancellation fee.
If a Pet Parent is going to be home when the Pet Care Provider is present, the Pet Parent is expected to behave respectfully and appropriately in their interactions with the Pet Care Provider.
In addition to these expectations, Pet Parents should also read and be aware of expectations highlighted in our Community Guidelines, specifically Home & Personal Security and Respect as it relates to Home Access.
Any unsafe or dangerous conduct by a Pet Parent may result in deactivation from the Wag! platform.
Pet Care Provider Expectations
Pet Care Providers should enter the Pet Parent's home only at the specified time to begin the walk and at the appropriate time to return the dog. The Pet Care Provider should remain in the home only as long as is necessary to conduct activities directly associated with the booked service.
- If the Pet Care Provider forgets an item in the home, the Pet Care Provider should contact Wag! to coordinate an appropriate pickup time with the Pet Parent to retrieve the forgotten item. The Pet Care Provider should not re-enter the home after the walk has ended.
- Once the pup’s been picked up for a walk (or other service that requires home access), the best way to ensure a Pet Parent's house keys are secure during the service is to place the keys securely back in the lockbox or designated location before leaving the home.
Pet Care Providers should enter the Pet Parent's premises and home alone, and should not bring any other people or dogs onto the property or into the home.
Pet Care Providers should never enter a Pet Parent's home through unlocked doors or windows, unless explicitly directed to do so in writing by the Pet Parent (i.e., in the access notes for the account).
Pet Care Providers should not enter lockbox codes or access codes in the “Walker Notes” feature of the app. Pet Care Providers who leave this information within the app will be subject to deactivation and will lose access to their user account.
In addition to these expectations, Pet Care Providers should also read and be aware of expectations highlighted in our Community Guidelines, specifically Home & Personal Security and Respect as it relates to Home Access.
Any unsafe or dangerous conduct by a Pet Care Provider may result in deactivation from the Wag! platform.
General Tips for Pet Parents
Make sure your information is complete and updated. Fill out your “Profile” completely with all necessary information, including your home access information. Make sure you keep your profile updated. This includes the following:
- Provide your full, accurate, up-to-date address in “Access Notes” so Pet Care Providers can find your home easily.
- Provide any relevant information that would be helpful for the Pet Care Provider to navigate your neighborhood and/or find your home (e.g., directions, parking, etc.).
Include details on how to enter your home. Provide detailed instructions on how to enter your home so Pet Care Providers can enter and leave your home securely and safely. This includes the following:
- Provide detailed entry instructions for your Pet Care Provider (e.g., key location, lockbox access, security codes, etc.) and make sure your instructions are updated if anything changes. If you live in an apartment building, be sure to note how to enter the building, as well as how to enter your apartment unit.
- On the day of the scheduled service, double-check that your key is in the right place. If you live in an apartment, it can also be helpful to let building management know you are expecting a dog Pet Care Provider in case there are any issues management may help address.
Don't forget the lockbox if you are using one! Wag! provides lockboxes to Pet Parents to give Pet Care Providers access into their homes. Be sure to include the lockbox location and access code in your online home access instructions if you are using a lockbox. Use of this lockbox is entirely optional, and Pet Parents are responsible for lost or stolen lockboxes, as well as ensuring their lockbox is in working order.
- On the day of the scheduled walk, leave the lockbox in its designated location, make sure the key is inside, make sure it's in working condition, and ensure that the lockbox access code works.
- If you live in an area that gets cold, consider putting a plastic bag over your lockbox to keep it from getting damp and freezing shut.
If you are using a lockbox, be sure to change lockbox codes frequently. There are two ways to update the lockbox code in the Wag! App:
- When booking a new service. When booking a service, ensure the access information contains the updated code.
- After booking the service but before the service has started. Access information can be updated by following the steps to edit your walk.
Make arrangements to disarm your home alarm. Some Pet Parents use home security/intrusion detection systems/alarms for added security. If you use an alarm system, be sure to notify your Pet Care Provider how to disable and rearm it.
Leave your dog walk supplies out. Make it as easy and straightforward as possible for your Pet Care Provider to find what he/she needs to take your dog on a walk.
- Provide detailed instructions on where to locate your dog, leash, and any other items the Pet Care Provider may need to complete the service. Make sure items are in their designated location or in plain sight.
- Make sure the relevant items are where you say they are — if the Pet Care Provider is unable to find items based on your instructions, the Pet Care Provider won't be able to complete your dog's service.
Close any doors to rooms you don't want a Pet Care Provider to enter. Sometimes dogs may hide or be located in a room where a Pet Care Provider can't initially see them, and Pet Care Providers may have to look for the dog. If you don't want Pet Care Providers entering a particular room for any reason, please leave that door closed. Pet Care Providers shouldn't enter a room when the door is closed unless instructed by the Pet Parent.
Make sure Pet Care Providers know what to do once they return from the walk. Provide detailed instructions on where to leave the dog and your supplies.
- Provide detailed instructions on how to exit your home (e.g., reset the alarm system, where to leave the key if you aren't using a lockbox).
General Tips for Pet Care Providers
Approach the Pet Parent's home thoughtfully. Be respectful of the Pet Parent's home and always be aware of your surroundings. As a best practice, you may even want to share your schedule with family/friends to keep them posted on where you'll be.
Enter the Pet Parent's home respectfully. Make sure you follow the Pet Parent's specific instructions about how to enter the home. Remember that if the Pet Parent has not left a key or explicit written instructions on another way to enter the home, you SHOULD NOT enter through a door or window, whether open or not. We know you want to make sure the dog is cared for, but it is in everyone's best interest to follow the Pet Parent's directions specifically. If you have difficulty with access, you should contact the Pet Parent for further instructions and if they are unavailable, please contact Wag! customer service.
In all cases where you are entering the Pet Parent's home:
- Ring the bell or knock and allow ample time for someone to answer, as there may be someone home.
- As you are entering, loudly announce yourself [e.g., I'm Joe with Wag!, I'm here to walk Fido].
- Wipe your shoes before entering.
- Don't forget to disarm the alarm if necessary/requested.
Once inside, be mindful of the Pet Parent's privacy.
- Avoid walking through the home or looking into private areas. If a door or cabinet is closed, you should not open it. If you can't find the dog or supplies in the designated location or in plain sight, please contact the Pet Parent first. If you can't reach the Pet Parent, please contact Wag! customer service. You should not, under any circumstances, go through drawers or cabinets or open closed doors, unless instructed to do so by the Pet Parent.
- Do not take pictures of the Pet Parent's home — inside or out — address, or any other personal information of the Pet Parent. Please ensure that any pictures you take and post/share of the dog are taken outside, in public spaces.
Leave everything as you found it. You should return to the Pet Parent's home at the appropriate time based on the requested length of the walk. Follow specific instructions from the Pet Parent on where to leave the dog (e.g., in a crate, a particular room, etc.) and supplies. Also be mindful of removing the equipment (e.g., collar, harness, etc.) from the dog after the service if instructed to do so.
- Re-arm the alarm system if necessary/requested, re-lock any doors, and replace key to the designated area (or the lockbox if the Pet Parent uses one).
- Communicate immediately with the Pet Parent about any issues or incidents.
What to do in an emergency. If you enter a home and see something that concerns you, or something happens to you or the dog while you are on a walk that is an emergency, contact 911, law enforcement, a local human society or local SPCA, as appropriate.
Do not include access information in the “Walker notes” section of the app. Pet Care Providers should not enter lockbox codes or access codes in the “Walker Notes” feature of the app. Pet Care Providers who leave this information within the app will be subject to deactivation and will lose access to their user account.